IN celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Galway Film Centre, in partnership with Clare and Galway county councils, with support from the Heritage Council of Ireland, have announced the commissioning of a documentary series with filmmaker Paul Murphy.
Entitled Stories from the Landscape: The European Dimension, the project will involve the production of two short documentaries on the theme of landscape and will record aspects of our built and natural heritage across Europe, in both Ireland and Austria.
The first film will look at the tradition of dry stone wall building and will visit two festivals that celebrate this; Féile na gCloch on Inis Oírr on the Aran Islands and Stein Und Wein, which takes place in Langenlois in the north-east of Austria.
Though many miles apart, both Inis Oírr and Langenlois celebrate the tradition of dry stone walling with festivals that are both regional and local development strategies towards sustainable tourism.
The second film will focus on the traditions of transhumance – the action or practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically to lowlands in winter and highlands in summer. In the Burren, however, the reverse is the case.
The film will document the work of the Burren Beo group, based in the Burren, and the Burren Winterage Festival, which celebrates this ancient transhumance tradition that is key to the survival of the region’s famous flora and fauna.
The film will also look at the transhumance between the Ötztal Valley and Senales Valley in South Tyrol, one of the longest-standing and largest movement of sheep in the entire Alpine region.
Both films will be made throughout the year and will have a premiere screening in late 2018.
Deputy mayor of Clare, Councillor Pat Burke said, “We are delighted to partner with our European colleagues on this exciting project.
“Through cherishing our cultural heritage, we can discover our diversity and start an inter-cultural conversation about what we have in common.”
Alan Duggan, Galway Film Centre manager, said, “This project is a great opportunity for both film and heritage colleagues in Clare, Galway and Austria to work together to celebrate our shared heritage.”
The aim of the European Year of Cultural Heritage is to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe’s cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space.
The slogan for the year is ‘Our Heritage: Where The Past Meets The Future’ and, throughout 2018, organisations are encouraged to celebrate their diverse cultural heritage at EU, national, regional and local level.
By Carol Byrne